HE fought the law - and actually won - on three different occasions..
The remarkable story of William Hone, a satirist who fought against state censorship is told in this witty and intelligent comedy from the pens of Ian Hislop and Nick Newman.
i imagine Hislop, who edits the satirical magazine Private Eye and Hone, who also campaigned for the vote to be extended to the masses and reform to the grim lunatic asylums of the day would have been great friends, kindred spirits, had they lived at the same time.
Who knows, maybe Hone, brought so engagingly and vividly to life by Joseph Prowen, would have been a welcome guest of Hislop on Have I Got News For You.
I really liked the chemistry between Prowen and Peter Losasso as who plays the cartoonist George Cruikshank as he supports our reluctant hero as he battles an establishment determined to shackle his right to free speech.
While this isn’t a play that will have you laughing until your sides ache there are some excellent jokes to enjoy, verbal and visual and usual at the expense of the elite. The future King George IV is given a far from flattering portrait, depicted as a never satisfied hedonist with a raging libido.
Lampooning the establishment has always been a favourite sport of mine and boy, is it done well here.
There were times Trial By Laughter looked a little lost on the big stage of the Lyric Theatre. But some top quality writing and a cast who make it their mission to entertain made me quickly overlook this.
Watching this play made me realise just how much we owe people like William Hone, a ma whose story I’d never heard before.
An education and a right good laugh in parts. Recommended.
Until February 2. The box office is on 0843 208 6000. Star rating - ***